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Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

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Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  LaFee on 5/4/2010, 5:03 pm

No, you're not going to want to grown key limes in your SFG...but by popular demand from the Europe forum, here's the recipe for key lime pie made the Florida way.

If you can't find key limes, bottled key lime juice works just fine.

If you can't find key limes, you'll have to just save this recipe..Persian limes (the green ones in the supermarket) aren't acidic enough to work. (The folks in Florida can make a sour orange pie, though -- get hold of the sour oranges that Publix carries from time to time --- you'll need about twice the amount of juice, but you'll be rewarded with a really lovely orange pie. Make mojo criollo with any leftover sour oranges you have.)

3-4 egg yolks (keep the whites...)
1 can sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk!)
1/3-1/2 cup key lime juice (80-125ml) -- depends on the acidity

1 pie shell -- graham cracker crust is excellent (try plain Digestive biscuits if you're in Europe or the UK) -- or you can also make the really, truly traditional crust -- out of crushed Ritz crackers (this gives a really nice sweet/salty twist)


In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Stir in the entire can of sweetened condensed milk. Now stir in the key lime juice, a tablespoon (5-10ml) at a time, until the mixture sets up firm, just like a custard. (The science is that the acidity of the lime juice actually cooks the protein chains in the egg yolks, and they firm up exactly like they would if they were heated.) Taste and add more lime juice if you like it a little more tart. (raises hand)

Pour the filling into the pie shell. Refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight. Yum.

Now here's the notes:

1) If you're nervous about raw egg yolks, bake the pie for 15 minutes at 375F (190C) for 15 minutes, then let cool on the counter, then refrigerate. If you add meringue, you'll bake it anyway...make sure you only bake it once!

2) Toppings:

Naked: This is the way the hardcore purists eat it...no whipped cream, no meringue.

Meringue: Beat the 3-4 egg whites with a pinch of cream of tartar until stiff. Add 2-3 Tablespoons (soup spoons) of sugar (superfine if you have it) and beat just until sugar is incorporated. Mound up on the pie, and bake the pie for 15 minutes at 375F/190C until golden brown. Let cool, then refrigerate.

Whipped Cream: Beat heavy cream until stiff, then sweeten if desired with a little sugar (to taste)...Beat in 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 a coffee spoon) vanilla. (If you've baked the pie, make sure it's cold before you add the whipped cream....disaster will ensue.) No Cool Whip, please!

There's much debate as to whether to eat it plain, with meringue, or with whipped cream -- so it's up to your personal taste.

If you tint it green with food coloring, you will issued a citation by the Florida Tourism Commission. No self-respecting key lime pie fan would ever eat green key lime pie...the juice is yellow, so a key lime pie is a sunny shade of yellow, too. (Yes, I've sent back green key lime pie in more than a few restaurants!)

Enjoy.

LaFee

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  camprn on 5/4/2010, 5:48 pm

One of the best pies EVER! Yum!!
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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  Icemaiden on 5/4/2010, 5:59 pm

Thank you. I'll put that safe in case i ever need it!

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  martha on 5/4/2010, 7:48 pm

and this is exactly why I wanted the drooling emoticon! Oh, yeah, also...
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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  Blackrose on 5/4/2010, 8:41 pm

Thanks for this! I absolutely adore Key Lime Pie. It has to be my favourite kind of pie. My mother always brings Key Lime juice back from Florida when she goes to visit. Although, we just saw it in our local grocery store not long ago.

I can never understand why restaurants think they have to put green food colouring in the pie just because it's a lime pie. 90% of the time it's not real key lime pie they're serving anyway. They use regular lime juice and call it Key Lime pie just to sound fancy. I've sent them back too.

Thanks again for posting this. I think I will make a couple for Mother's Day this weekend!

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  SFG in Chicago on 5/6/2010, 1:24 am

LaFee, as a displaced Floridian I agree with everything in your post 100%. I learned to love key lime pie through my dad who is a fanatic. He has been known to ask the server in a restaurant what color the key lime pie is before ordering. If they say it's green, forget it. My DH is now a fan too and it's often what I make for the holidays rather than pumpkin or apple. Publix actually makes a passable key lime pie, but alas no Publix stores here in the midwest. I actually saw real key limes at the little hispanic market I get my produce from, I wonder if they'll still have them around the holidays.

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  LaFee on 5/6/2010, 1:30 am

virginia, buy 'em when you can find 'em!! Key lime juice freezes extremely well...my freezer almost always had a block of frozen lime juice somewhere for most of the 25 years I lived in the Sunshine State...the only thing I've found is that you may need a little more juice than if it were fresh...but that's not always the case.

I found a package one time that had been in the freezer for over a year...and it still was plenty acidic enough to make a great pie.

Oh...a note...if there are European readers out there wondering what a Ritz cracker is -- it's a light, buttery cracker....Tuk crackers would substitute well.

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  Blackrose on 6/26/2010, 8:14 am

I know this post is a little late, but I thought I would mention that I followed this key lime pie recipe to the letter and it was soooooo good! Unfortunately, the store that I had seen the juice in doesn't carry it anymore. Apparently, the supplier does not supply to Canada anymore.

Luckily, my Mother had just enough juice to make 2 pies. I'm glad to see that the juice freezes well. I may pick up a case while I'm visiting Florida in September!

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  Chopper on 6/28/2010, 1:18 am

What makes you think I don't want to grow key limes in my square foot garden. Next step: The backyard orchard...

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  LaFee on 6/28/2010, 6:19 am

I know you're joking -- but for those wondering:

a) no, you really can't grow them in an SFG - a mature key lime tree is 10-12' tall, with a canopy at least that wide....

b) You really can't grow them in MM -- MM is actually far too rich for citrus trees, which need a fair amount of sand to survive.

So you might be able to grow them in your yard....but keep them out of the boxes.

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  Chopper on 6/28/2010, 3:02 pm

I actually am thinking in terms of a backyard orchard. There is a guy who specializes in that (the Mel of trees) whose attitude is "the tree gets as big as you let it get", so you don't have to have acres and acres to grow trees - keep everything miniature.

I have about half of my yard spoken for and the other half is just grass. Which would be fine if anyone played on it but for the most part they don't. I do know that trees need to go deep and super soil is not for them. Thank heaven. However, I am actually in foreclosure now and negotiating with the lender to save the house so I am willing to do annuals like veggies but not anything deep rooted like trees.

Wherever I land, I am looking forward to it and citrus is a natural. I actually already have a lemon and a lime along with strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, and if I could get apples, almonds and pecans going, well I'd never have to food shop again. LOL. Of course I would be eating a half cup of food a day, but ...baby steps.

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  LaFee on 6/28/2010, 3:06 pm

You probably also need to know that next to nothing grows under a citrus tree, and they have long spikes that I SWEAR will reach out and grab you.

Citrus are not friendly trees to children...they can't be climbed, no matter how wonderful they smell when they're in bloom or how sweet the fruit is.

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Re: Key Lime Pie (the real way...)

Post  Chopper on 6/28/2010, 3:58 pm

I don't want anything to grow under it - just on it.

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